Pundit Dennis Miller: Comedy Is Serious Business
Miller Calls duPont REGISTRY TAMPA BAY
Political pundit Dennis Miller calls us from his car parked at a Santa Barbara area strip mall to talk about the “Florida circuit” he’s touring this spring, which includes a March 30th appearance at St. Petersburg’s Mahaffey Theater.
“I like Florida, there are a lot of people who get my brand of humor,” says Miller, who will be shooting a new special in June. Don’t expect him to be too political, though. “The country’s too divisive right now and over the years I’ve become socially liberal on some things and conservative on the other.”
… “Miller is known for his skewering, take-no-prisoner rants and wit..”
Award-winning comedian Dennis Miller is known for his skewering, take-no-prisoner rants. From political diatribes on The O’Reilly Factor to his Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” acerbic anchor commentary, he’s captivated audiences, nailed five Emmys and three Writers Guild of America awards for his critically acclaimed talk show “Dennis Miller Live.” He is also the author of fiveNew York Times’ “The Rants” bestsellers and he’s even been a sportscaster on ABC’s Monday Night Football.
Miller 3.0 is calmer and more focused on life’s adventures at 64, so expect half the show to be witty raconteur ramblings about getting older, traveling, unplugging and his passion for hockey, hiking and reading. “I don’t watch much television, although I like Tucker Carlson who’s a little bit like Zorro and interesting to watch. I turn on Turner classic movies after 5. You migh say I’m a bit of a Luddite these days,” says Miller.
Aging is definitely on Miller’s miraculous meandering mind. “At 64, I’m getting a little forgetful. This morning, I forgot where I put my gingko biloba and found it near my Beats by Dr. Dre hearing aid.”
There will be some political potshots, of course. “66% vs. 33% funny generic vs. political humor is what I’m aiming for. Hillary doesn’t go away, there’s the Mueller investigation and Trump makes for some fun and games,” notes Miller, who sees fractious politics making for cranky people and a divisive culture. These days, life’s adventures trump career goals. “In the old days, I was on fire to do everything I could but as I get older, it’s time vs. money. I want to travel to Bhutan and Sri Lanka this year, go to the river in Prague with my wife and kids,” says Miller, who’s currently deep into the 75 novels by PG Wodehouse.
He’s not sure where to hang his hat these days as the media climate shifts and morphs. In addition to the June special, he’s got his Miller Minutes in 50 markets and growing. “I go for the authenticity and joie de vivre, Norman Rockwell sensibility to make sense of things,” says Miller about his performances.
dR Tamps Bay asked Miller about Santa Barbra
drTampa Bay asked Miller about post-fires in Santa Barbara. “Luckily, my family escaped harm but I just drove from my house and they finally opened Hotsprings Road and it looks like a bomb hit it,” he says sadly.
He’s got his pet peeves, of course. Miller being Miller, the “emperor has no clothes” humorist is not thrilled with the oversharing on social media. I’m a little aghast at this generation’s obsession; the last we set the bar this low I was a dwarf. Lewis and Clarke didn’t keep notes as assiduously as the Kardashians do on breakfast,” he deadpans. “We have more ways to know each other than ever before and we know nothing.”
Fake news is nothing new, according to Miller. “I’ve seen tapes where all this so-called infotainment began. You know who started it? Walter Cronkite, when he reported that it was time to get out of Vietnam, that’s where this cable mentality came from.”
As for Trump, Miller doesn’t share the general disdain, pointing out that “he’s the idiotic billionaire who became the president of the United States? How silly to think he’s stupid.” But don’t think Miller respects the powerful and ignores the powerless. Like political cartoonists (Thomas Nast) and other pundits, he likes to tweak power and call BS when it’s time to out the pretenders.
Miller takes the art of being funny seriously. “They know me, my approach, my arcane language and odd references,” says Miller whose stream-of-conscience speech and smirk mask hours of scholarly work-change to relentless research and a “somewhat good memory.”
Oddly enough, the Pittsburgh native studied journalism in college but he never used it, except to be a “fake” newscaster on SNL. “What scratches my brain is writing jokes. I am extremely curious like to constantly learn new things.”
Dont miss the show at Duke Energy Center for the Arts, The Mahaffey Theater on March 30 at 8 pm. Call for Tickets: (727) 893-7832 You will not want to miss Miller!